back to article Aussie internet-net will be drawn wider

The Australian government is already planning to block legal internet content when its "great firewall" eventually goes live. That is the fear expressed by some of the most trenchant critics of this scheme, including Senators Simon Birmingham (for the Liberal Party) and Scott Ludlam (for the Greens) following another shift in …

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Anonymous Coward

One by One the Lamps Go Out

Expect other governments to eye the Australian trial with eager anticipation. Since articles appearing in newspapers could be considered a how-to guide to things like crime I think they will become casualties.

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Stop

So it begins...

People really should understand that as far as Governments are concerned legislation such as this, brought in ostensibly to fight against child pr0n, is actually intended for a much wider remit. It is known as an 'enabler' - it opens the door for future extensions, plug-ins and additions and because the legislation it is attached to can always be cited as a 'child protection' measure nobody will argue with it, while the politicians and other interested parties busy themselves making all sorts of changes to the law behind the scenes.

This is will happen in the UK, make no mistake. We must remember not to get distracted by politicians use of such emotive issues as child pr0n to hide their real intentions behind. We have to learn to be more cynical, more critical, every time we see politicians flagging up reasons of 'national security' or 'child protection' as some kind of justification for whatever their latest attack on civil liberties might be.

They assume we will not argue the case if they carefully preface their comments with such loaded justifications. They assume, once uttered, there is no further argument to be had. This will allow them to achieve the controls they seek, to slowly erode the freedoms they distrust and to almost imperceptibly tighten their grip on every aspect of our lives.

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Unhappy

Slippery slope

This kind of thing can only end badly.

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"the piecemeal way in which material is censored"

The very fact that they have an entire system in place for regulating what adults can and cannot think about is kind of bone-chilling in and of itself, to be honest. The rest of it's just icing on the shitcake.

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Bronze badge

Poxy idea?

Excuse me being a bit dim but what is to stop anyone using a proxy to get round the firewall?

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Pirate

Job creation

How long before this censorship blocks all bittorrent sites, and sites that criticise the Australian Government ?

I guess the next stage would be to make it illegal to use a proxy to deliberately access sites that are blocked by these filters.

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China

As per the situation in China, instead of finding release cracking one off at home cheapskates will just have to resort to rape to fulfill their fantasies. Hurrah.

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And this his different from China in what ways?

'For the children' they will block all dissent and any content that the political party in charge does not like. They will lock up those who dare to find ways around the great firewall, and will run over protesters with tanks in the great square.

I had always thought visiting Australia might be fun, however I will not spend my hard earned money in a fascist state.

There are already laws on the books against exploitation of children. Tell me again why you need a great firewall? (Hint: 'for the children' doesn't cut it)

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Joke

Hahahaaaaaa...

...to all you Aussies who rip on us for having a bunch of facists in charge here in Blighty!

"There is a very strong case for blocking RC or ‘refuse classification’ material that includes child sexual abuse imagery, bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act," he said.

No seriously though, that's really fucking scary / awful. That list could be interpreted to cover anything from The Bible through Fight Club, infact between those two I think you can cover every single item on the list, yeesh.

There's a very good case for you stringing these fuckers up which I might advocate if it wasn't likely to get El Reg banned in Australia! - http://nocleanfeed.com/

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Stop

This is just plain *wrong*

As an Australian (although not actually living there these days), I have to say I'm disappointed by the whole idea of such content blocking. Actually, "disappointed" doesn't quite cut it, but I'm at a loss for words for a change.

I've always been a Labor voter -- I come from a family of solid Labor voters -- but I wouldn't vote for them in a pink fit after this outrage. It appears that the party's been hijacked by an unholy alliance of Christian d**kheads, prudes, and just-plain-power-freaks.

I really wish there was something I could do.

Signed,

Depressed of Boston.

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Al
Unhappy

Another NAZI state

Conservative Christians creating themselves another NAZI state. They may have changed their target but the desired outcome is still the same, totalitarian rule with them deciding what is considered proper thinking, all for the betterment of the country.

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Re: Poxy idea?

Nothing, likely. But that doesn't make the issue itself any better.

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Sledgehammer...

... to crack a nut.

Although personally I think those who propose this sort of nonsense should get the sledgehammer in the nuts...!

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Paris Hilton

The countdown

begins before this is brought up in parliament in dear old blighty.

The fact that they are considering put a block on stuff which is freely available in most newsagents really says it all.

A load of do gooders trying to "save the children", do me a fucking favour. This goes much wider than saving any children. The filtering will become much more widespread, and also crucially covertly widespread so much so that the net will be fit for children and nothing more.

The net gives people access which they normally wouldnt have access to, if its porn (and wihin reason) then so be it, for christs sake i hope this never goes ahead in the uk because god knows it WILL be considered by our glorious leader.

Paris - With her home video collection do i really need to explain

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So which is worse

The nazi christians or the nazi islamists? they're both willing to kill you to force their narrow view of the world down your throat. As the right used to say in the US during vietnam...love it or leave it....problem is, they won't let you leave alive and if you manage to escape, they will come to wherever you are to start their wacqui wayz.

kiddie pronz - blocked

adult pronz - blocked

animal pronz - blocked

don't think like we do - blocked

don't believe like we do - blocked

don't like what we do - too bad

independent throught - blocked

all solved now, innit?

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Unhappy

Motives

It's just political horse trading to get the support from some independents (God botherers). They probably wouldn't give a sh*t otherwise. Labor has lost me.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Proxy Idea

The b@st@rds are talking Deep Packet Inspection, not just URL filtering, as the next stage.

I suppose we can encypt the beejezus out of our traffic, but there's nothing to stop them extending it to dropping any packets they can't decrypt "incase it contains kiddie p0rn"...

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Worst idea since the rabbit-proof fence

@Stuart: "Excuse me being a bit dim but what is to stop anyone using a proxy to get round the firewall?"

Absolutely nothing, which is half the point. The free-speech killing, oops I mean paedofiltering system they are trialling does nothing to stop anyone using proxies (www.freeproxies.org, et al), so any 8-year old will be able to get around it in, oooh, one-bazillionth of a second.

Further to that, it will also do nothing to stop torrents and other difficult to filter protocols. PLUS, in the earlier trials done, with various vendor solutions, they slowed down internet traffic significantly.

If this monumental system of expense and stupidity goes ahead we will be able to remember Sen. Stephen Conroy as the builder of the modern-day "Rabbit-proof Fence". ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_proof_fence ): enormous; totally ineffective at doing what it is supposed to (oh except for ruining freedom, even the fence didn't do that).

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Unhappy

Stories from behind the firewall

I am unlucky enough to be behind The Great Australian FireWall (BetterThanChina! tm).

Since Feb 11, we have experienced occasional mail slowdowns of up to 48 hours. According to timestamps on the received emails, this is occuring somewhere beyond our immediate server, on whose IP address points to dfat.gov.au - the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (what the ???) This seems to happen mainly with larger emails (for us - PDF building plans being sent to a site in Queensland. Urgent, as always, so delays cause big cock-ups) and when we have tried encrypting emails, they simply vanish in a puff of logic. We suspect some government jobsworth is actually eyeballing things. Great.

Websites are erratic too, probably 25% of links we click on, especially overseas result in "please check your internet connection" messages, not even a 403 or 404. The Sydney Morning Herald gets quite a few dropouts, as do, for some reason, European lighting suppliers.

We still get plenty of pr0n spam, and the usual naughty pictures from the builders get through, so that would be FAIL on all sides.

"Australians all let us be FAIL, for we have a firewall! etc."

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IT Angle

Once again, VPNs will kill the clean-feed idea.

Businesses in australia already have VPN links to other countries. If the gov tried to control all encryption keys, the business back-lash would be huge. All of a sudden "For the kids" will be combated by "That's our intellectual property, senator. Go away."

All it'll do is take away any incentive for certain companies to do web-caching, provide add-on services etc. The ISPs in australia will go back to providing nothing but a link to the net, at a much lower percieved speed than before.

Net speeds will suffer anyway. The question is if deep packet inspection is slower than VPN traffic to another country.

All in all, the "clean feed" proposal is one that has been put forward by people who don't understand the tech of the net. Not only are the moral reasons for doing this very dubious, the actual practicality of the idea is non-existant.

Conroy: Do some bloody research before you open your mouth again. You are personally losing the Labor party more voters than the rest of your party put together.

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Black Helicopters

Anti-abortion website also blocked

Although I'm pro-choice, the fact that an anti-abortion website was also added to the block list shows that political material can also be censored. Either deliberately or accidentally.

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Dead Vulture

Won't happen

There is no way the legislation for this will be passed. It needs the support of either the Liberals or the Greens, and neither are in favour of it.

It's a dead turkey.

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Black Helicopters

Re: This is just plain Wrong

"an unholy alliance of Christian d**kheads, prudes, and just-plain-power-freaks" - Oh, you know Kevin Rudd personally, do you?

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@This is just plain "wrong"

"I've always been a Labor voter -- I come from a family of solid Labor voters"

Surely in politics you should judge each successive group of vested interest dick-heads on their respective merits rather than be a party man - that just seems plain stupid and is behaviour that would likely keep these tits in power longer than they ought to be.

At least you've seen the light which is more than can be said for most - I'm thinking of you Queensland!

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Black Helicopters

Chairman Rudd

Our PM is fluent in Chinese (Cantonese?).

He is obviously keen on the whole Chinese way of life. I'll bet he's downloaded a trial version of the "Great-Chinese-Fire-Wall" for his friend Senator Killjoy. (pirate copy of course)

The christian minority are well represented in our govt at the moment. Bad luck for us proles with no interest in their invisible sky-daddy!

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He's gone freakin crazy!

One minute it's supposedly to protect kids from kiddy porn or something like that, and now it's just to filter bad stuff as defined by the government... Yay.

Oh, and the bastard doesn't respond to questions you send him. You might get a form letter if you're lucky, but I'm yet to get answers to anything I've asked.

I thought the process was something like:

1. Implement filtering of truely illegal material (terrorism guides, etc)

2. Extend to cover vaguely illegal material that most people aren't interested in.

3. Start slipping sites that aren't necessarily illegal but might be objectionable in.

4. Block sites the government just don't think we should see... Opposition's website for example.

5. ?????

6. Profit (at least in countries that still have internet access to conduct business over).

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Senator Conjob

Time to come clean buddy, this has past the point of niavity. No one could possibly believe that you really are so simple as to not be able to see the ramifications of putting this filter inplace. I am calling you a liar Sir, it is time to stop hiding behind your lame 'wont someone think of the children' line as this is so obviously a distant last on your list. IF we are going to be censored, there needs to be the most strict of measures to be sure that ONLY illegal material is to be put on this list. Not some mamby pamby excuse blah blah 'THINK OF THE CHILDREN' and then quietly add on 'other unwanted material'. This is underhanded and although it may be very Government orientated, it is unAustralian. Wake up, think about what you are doing to our country and come clean!

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Stop

@AC 14:21

Your a bit behind the times aren't you?

RIPA was sold on the only for Terrorism/Paedophile/Serious & Organised Crime pretext. The bill however had no such limitations built in and after a bit the Home Sec at the time (I think one of Mrs Timney's predecessors) opened the field to the present list of just about any government, local government, QUANGO or semi-official jobsworth who can knock together an excuse to need some info on someone.

ContactPoint. It'll let all professionals dealing with a vulnerable child know who each other are. Think of the children. So lets put *all* children on. And leave them on till their 25 (some people mature so slowly) and lets give the Police access. But don't worry as they wouldn't use the information to put any pressure on a child by any overly heavy questioning.

ID Cards. It'll help stop Terrorism/Paedophiles/Serious & Organised Crime and we'll (I mean you) will safer.

Communications database. We have to comply with the EU Data Retention Directive. But that mandates its only for matters of National Security. Although we might run it under the RIPA as well

I hesitate to sound paranoid but you could see a sort of pattern here, couldn't you?

I left out the DNA database but this is one that is (in I believe about 1.5% of all crimes where it is used) useful. It's deletion policy is the problem. Until the EU Court ruling it did not have one. Ever.

If you want to do something write (not email) a letter to your MP about the data sharing clause in the Coroners & Justice Bill (clause 152). Ask why something which allows a minister to dump a copy of their department whole DB and dish it out to anyone they please is in there at all. And note that while the minister does have to consult with the Information Commissioner and Parliament it does not say they have to give a s"-t what about the response.

"What is desperately needed in this policy area is clarity"

Simple. This fellows been taking lessons from our Labour party. Clarity would mean there were things people would not be guilty of. That could not be dis-allowed. Ambiguity is the lubricant of authoritarian law making. With enough ambiguity *everything* is illegal and *everyone* is guilty, or could be. You just won't know. Enough FUD to keep everyone in line.

WTF happened to Australia to get this way? Where's your IRA? Your 9/11? Your 7/7? We had some events that were fanned into this nonsense but what happened to the easy going sons of Aus? The descendants of ex-rims who tamed a savage land with equal savagery (don't mention the Abo's) running scared of some pictures on a screen or a guy with a beard.

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@John Smith

"Where's your IRA? Your 9/11? Your 7/7? We had some events that were fanned into this nonsense but what happened to the easy going sons of Aus?"

You never heard of the Bali bombings then?

Over 200 killed, the majority of them Aussies.

News much?

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Stop

@AC 01:41

"You never heard of the Bali bombings then?"

I had heard of them. I remembered a lot of foreigners had died in them but was unsure of the breakdown on nationalities.

However my point stands. 9/11 and 7/7 took place in major cities of our respective countries by citizens of those countries. There is a superficial reason why we and the Americans might

consider this malarkey. The EU data retention directive, another piece of deeply intrusive law designed to increase our “security” was supposed to be a response to the Madrid rail bombs, which killed 191. Note the directive was introduced when the UK held the presidency and endorsed by Ireland, Sweden and France, not Spain.

So help me out here.

A relatively large number of Australia citizens have died in bomb attacks by Islamic militants In a mostly Hindu country which is (IIRC) a one party dictatorship although Australia is neither a 1 party state -> stuff -> so therefore we must have strictly filtered access to the internet.

Could someone fill in the "stuff" part of this change of logic? The apparent cause does not seem to be relevant to the effect.

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Anonymous Coward

Hi I am gay and christian.....

Since it's in the bible - it must be true, but as I have asked it in "his name" and "he" has never delivered it - where do I go from here?

Since the fair trading act doesn't cover cults, tomorrow I am going to get drunk and go kill god.

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Anonymous Coward

The real target: P2P

The claims about the filter being necessary to block access to kiddie pr0n websites are only a smokescreen .... the real objective is to block access to Pirate Bay & other BitTorrent tracker sites.

On the IFPI website, the CEO boss talks enthusiastically about how governments are now starting to work on filtering technologies "in partnership" with the music and film industries. http://www.ifpi.org/content/library/DMR2008.pdf

Already in Ireland, Italy & Denmark, the recording industry MAFIAA has taken out court orders to force ISP's to block Pirate Bay.

Once the filter is in place, then Australia will be the next target for the MAFIAA ......

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